Skip to content

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix Expansion Review

Important Note:

All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game with two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to below. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases.

Is Dune Imperium Rise of Ix necessary for lovers of this popular board game or does the addition of Ixian technology overcomplicate things and detract from the tight battle the base game offered?

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix Review

7.5 out of 10

Is it Good For Two Players? : Not the best player count, but still very worthwhile.

Is Rise of Ix necessary, no, but once you’ve experienced what it has to offer you probably won’t go back. If you’re already familiar with the game, the expansion doesn’t overcomplicate anything, since it doesn’t change the core gameplay much, if at all.  It instead just gives players more options and new routes to pursue while also packing on some new additions that make more strategies viable.  

Theme: 8/10
Replayability: 6/10
Components: 6/10
Conflict: 5/10
Fun: 6/10

His Rating
8 out of 10
Her Rating
7 out of 10

Pros

Adds just that little bit of variety with new strategies and options to explore

Doesn’t change the core gameplay much, making it very easy to add in and learn

Introduces options that allow players to lean into their favorite aspects of the game, such as deck building, conflict, or influence

Epic variant gives players even more ways to switch things up

Cons

Competition for board spaces is slightly reduced, making the worker placement (blocking) aspect of Dune Imperium a little less impactful

Gameplay Experience:

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix Expansion Review

There’s no denying Dune Imperium is an excellent board game and one that we really enjoy playing, you can find our full review of the game here: Dune Imperium Two Player Review.  Normally, we try to hold off on getting expansions until we feel like we have run the game into the dirt, yeah we’re frugal like that.

My brother, who we played the game with a lot though, buys what he wants when he wants it, and he wanted more Dune.  So he instantly got the expansion after already reigning victorious in multiple rounds of this tight battle for power, spice control, and alliances with the great houses.

Even though my wife and I were nowhere near ready to add expansions we obliged and dove right into it. Dune Imperium Rise of Ix is easy enough to implement and it didn’t take us long to get the new modifications and components setup. Technology also isn’t banned in our reality, and we don’t require mentats to learn things, so a quick rules video makes it even easier.

Rise of Ix adjusts the main board slightly, giving players access to a modified CHOAM section which includes an Interstellar shipping track that has a decision space as big as the traversable galaxy.  It also includes a new side board that introduces the ability to gain Ixian Technology tokens that will change your path throughout the game and the ability to recruit powerful dreadnaughts to help you win conflicts.

While these sound like dramatic changes, they more or less just add a bit more of the same to the game with a slight increase in complexity and depth.  All three main aspects suit very different playstyles as evidenced during our first game where we all focused on different aspects of the new expansion.

My brother who loves the conflict in Dune Imperium, instantly went for the new dreadnaughts, allowing him to dominate the battlefield, and we quickly realized we probably should’ve tried to recruit a few ourselves as we lost battle after battle.  

My wife went for the CHOAM shipping track allowing her to move up in alliances with the great houses faster and have no problem getting her sword master and high council seat before us due to the resources it also grants.

I struggle to keep up with all the backstabbing and plotting in Dune Imperium so I went with the Ixian technology in hopes that I could use its ongoing benefits to get an advantage over my tablemates.  

We all quickly realized though that just like in the original game, no new avenue was all powerful and Dune Imperium is still not about focusing your efforts in one area, but diversifying and making those tiny but significant moves that make all the difference.  It was still a tight battle as always. Overall, we agreed the expansion didn’t necessarily make the game drastically better or worse, it just changed things up a little.

Rise of Ix Rules Summary:

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix doesn’t change the core gameplay drastically but does introduce some new tracks and spots for players to interact with.  

CHOAM

Dune Imperium Both Board Comparisons

The CHOAM area of the board represents the Interstellar Shipping spaces and its respective reward track.  This area works a little differently than other areas, and when a player goes to one of these spaces they get to move their shipping marker up the shipping track or recall it at a certain level.  

Each level has its own rewards but they are not gained until a player recalls their ship to the bottom of the track.  If they reach the top of the track and then recall they will get all three rewards at once, taken in any order they choose.

IX

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix Ixian Technology Tiles and Dreadnaughts

This new sideboard has spaces where players can gain either dreadnaughts or Ixian technology tokens.   The dreadnaught is a new type of recruit players can use in conflict.  What makes them special is they provide a strength of 3 instead of 2 and never return to a player’s supply, instead they return to the barracks if a battle is lost.  If a conflict is won with a dreadnaught, players get to claim one of the battlefields with it for bonuses.

The Ixian technology tokens cost spice (sometimes a lot of spice) and grant players immediate or ongoing benefits, while others provide a once-per-round ability.  Some give players water, more influence, or even victory points. Other than these new spaces there are just a few other minor changes with new cards and house leader abilities. 

There are some more notable differences on the cards though, that include infiltration and discard/trash effects.

  • Infiltration:  These new cards have a tiny little symbol on them that allows you to go to a space with that agent symbol even if it is already occupied.  While this seems minor it can really help out on occasion.
  • Discard/Trash (Unload):  Many of the new cards also let users gain the reveal benefit of a card when they either trash or discard them.  This leans into the deckbuilding aspect of Dune Imperium and if a player focuses on acquiring these cards, with the right combinations they can really build a strong deck and reap the benefits while doing so.

Epic Game Mode

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix Control the Spice Card

This expansion also includes rules for the epic variant that includes the following changes: 

  • Replaces a Dune the Desert planet with a Control the Spice card
  • Players play until someone reaches 12 victory points
  • Players start with 5 soldiers instead of 3
  • Each player starts with an Intrigue Card
  • Level 1 Conflict Cards are not used

These changes take all aspects of the game to higher levels, with the new starting card making deck building a bit more viable early in the game.  The increased victory point limit decreases the urgency to progress on the influence tracks as they don’t sway victories as easily. 

Conclusion

Even though my brother swayed us into using an expansion for Dune Imperium way sooner than we normally would have, we have yet to play without it since.  Is it necessary, no, but once you’ve experienced what Ix has to offer you probably won’t go back.

If you’re already familiar with the game, the expansion doesn’t overcomplicate anything, since it doesn’t change the core gameplay much, if at all.  It instead just gives players more options and new routes to pursue while also packing on some new additions that make more strategies viable.  

We think the biggest improvement is the new version of CHOAM as its original spaces in the base game seemed lacking.  They are extremely useful now, throughout the entire game, whereas before they lost their value about midway in our opinion.

A close second is the Ixian technology tiles though, which suit my gaming tastes just right.  Ongoing abilities, bonuses, and actions are excellent for pushing players along a certain strategy or path, which is much appreciated in a game like Dune Imperium where you’re often strategizing turn by turn instead of game by game.

These changes alone make Rise of Ix worthwhile in our opinion and everything else is just a bonus.  The new house leaders, cards, and dreadnaughts add just that little bit of variety that gives this excellently designed game even more staying power.  

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix New House Leaders and Abilities

The new components allow players to also play the epic variant to “spice” things up even more. While many of its changes are for the better we think most will likely pick and choose which modifications they use.  It gives a great starting point for players to experience some, shall we say Dune Imperium official “(Great) House Rules, that may improve the experience to varying degrees.

There really is only one downside to this expansion, and that’s the fact that it adds two new spaces.  This means competition is slightly reduced and players have a few more options even if their plans end up being blocked. The tight board space economy of Dune Imperium is one of its best aspects, so for some, this may be a big negative, but for most we think the new changes greatly outweigh this single compromise.

Other than that we really have nothing bad to say about Dune Imperium Rise of Ix.  It’s not necessary in the slightest as the base game is already excellent, but if you want more of what you already love in the game with a few new fresh twists, you can’t go wrong with this expansion.

Is Dune Imperium Rise of Ix Good For 2 Players?

We already know this is a game that shines with more players, but it also has an excellently designed two player variant due to the app companion.  So, how does Rise of Ix fit into the equation?  It’s simple enough that we don’t need prescient vision to know.

One area of two player games of Dune Imperium that are improved by this expansion is conflict.  The new dreadnaughts can be so-so depending on who you play the game with, but if it’s the automa you’re against they can be as painful as the Gom Jabbar, in a good way!

After a few games against the automa, you’ll quickly realize that it doesn’t hold back in the conflict now.  It might get its two dreadnaughts and fast, and if you don’t try and keep up, you can kiss your chances of ever winning a battle goodbye.  In our opinion, this is an excellent improvement to the Dune Imperium two player experience.

Dune Imperium Rise of Ix  Ix Section of Board

As we said earlier though, competition for board spaces is decreased and this negative is exaggerated in a two player just like it is for the base game.  In our opinion, this doesn’t make the game not worth playing or a lesser experience, just different.  In two player games, you can follow your plans more often and overall just have a less constricted path to victory or defeat.

If the lack of worker placement competition is a big issue for you, you could even negate the infiltration symbols on the cards in the expansion if you so wish to make sure nobody can go to already occupied spaces.

Other than these things, the expansion doesn’t dramatically make the two player experience any better or worse, and our thoughts about the expansion match those of the base game.  It’s not the best player count, but it’s still very worthwhile due to the excellently designed automa.

Pros:

  • Adds just that little bit of variety with new strategies and options to explore
  • Doesn’t change the core gameplay much, making it very easy to add in and learn
  • Introduces options that allow players to lean into their favorite aspects of the game, such as deck building, conflict, or influence.
  • Epic variant gives players even more ways to switch things up.

Cons:

  • Competition for board spaces is slightly reduced, making the worker placement (blocking) aspect of Dune Imperium a little less impactful.

Dune Imperium: Rise of Ix – A Board Game Expansion by Dire Wolf 1-4 Players – Board Games for Family 60-120 Minutes of Gameplay – Games for Family Game Night – for Teens and Adults Ages 14+ - English
Dune Imperium: Rise of Ix – A Board Game Expansion by Dire Wolf 1-4 Players – Board Games for Family 60-120 Minutes of Gameplay – Games for Family Game Night – for Teens and Adults Ages 14+ - English
Dune Imperium: Rise of Ix – A Board Game Expansion by Dire Wolf 1-4 Players – Board Games for Family 60-120 Minutes of Gameplay – Games for Family Game Night – for Teens and Adults Ages 14+ - English

We hope this Dune Imperium Rise of Ix two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


If you would like, you can help others by sharing this Dune Imperium Rise of Ix board game expansion review.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *